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Labour leaders sending different messages over Barnett formula.

THE UK Labour Party's manifesto "supports the Barnett formula", the party's Scottish leader said yesterday - despite Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones saying the party would scrap it.

Kezia Dugdale said the manifesto includes an additional PS3bn for Scotland from the formula, used by the Treasury to calculate funding given to Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. But political opponents called for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to "come clean" on plans for the funding system, after the separate comments by Mr Jones and Ms Dugdale.

Critics of the funding formula have long claimed it unjustly penalises Wales.

Ms Dugdale said: "The UK Labour Party manifesto is very clear - it supports the Barnett formula. It includes an additional PS3bn coming to Scotland from UKwide spending decisions.

"I spoke to Carwyn Jones this morning and we're both focused on fighting for a fair deal for Scotland and Wales."

Mr Jones told BBC Wales on Monday: "It says in the manifesto that there will be a new funding formula based on need.

"That means having a new formula to replace Barnett."

A spokesman for the UK Labour Party said: "Our manifesto costings are based on the Barnett Formula and we will not scrap it."

The party's UK manifesto states, under the Wales section: "We need long-term reform of how the UK allocates public expenditure to ensure that it reflects the needs of different parts of our country and that no nation or region of the UK is unfairly disadvantaged."

The party's Welsh manifesto has an identical pledge, which is absent from the Scottish manifesto.

Scottish Conservative finance spokesman Murdo Fraser urged Mr Corbyn to "come clean" on Labour's position.

SNP deputy leader Angus Robertson said Mr Jones' comments had "fatally undermined Kezia Dugdale's attempts to portray Labour as standing up for Scottish interests".

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 7, 2017
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